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Swarm Theory, Christine Rice, Michigan Rice
Swarm Theory by Michigan Author Christine Rice
Michigan native Christine Rice’s first novel Swarm Theory is nothing but brilliant. Rice has developed rich and dynamic characters through her stories-in-a-story novel, with each story told by the individual characters.

This unique mosaic-esque format gives the reader glimpses into key moments in each character’s life and leaves you pondering their decisions and actions. It also gives you new respect for the beautiful, complex, deep well that encompasses each individual person we meet. You will look at each person you meet and ask yourself, what lies beneath the facade?

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ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW – Michigan Author Christine Rice Talks Swarm Theory

Swarm Theory is set in a small fictional town called New Canaan outside of Flint, Michigan. Rice’s research into the history of the area, and her own knowledge about the area where she grew up, shows in her wonderfully crafted descriptions of the places, events and experiences described throughout the book. The little town, inspired by Rice’s hometown, is at a crossroads, paralleling the crossroads that each character experiences in this book.

As the town’s farmlands are being razed and subdivisions are sprouting, each character is faced with choices that at times lead to destruction or renewal. The reader will be pleased by the extremely clever way that Rice entwined the characters and their stories. I respect and love how Rice was able to give each character a clear voice and personality through the writing. You get an idea of the person’s state of mind and personality in their narrative, which I find is essential in this particular format.

I also love how Rice has a diversity of people in the book through ages, nationalities, social and economic statuses, etc. It provides a clear picture of the town and the variety of people in it and how young and old, rich and poor, smart and dumb, men and women function with each other to make the town and community function, despite their dysfunction … just like a swarm of bees.

Swarm Theory is clever, smart, beautiful, dynamic and wonderfully executed. It will grab the reader from the first sentence and have you reading late into the night. And once you’ve finished the book, you’ll want to pick it back up and read it again. As a reader, I’m overjoyed that Chris Rice had this particular story to write and had the dedication and courage to complete it. I sincerely hope that more novels are in her future, especially if they are as wonderful as Swarm Theory. To say the least, I highly recommend this novel by Chris Rice.

Visit Christine Rice’s website, and buy Swarm Theory on Amazon.com and Barnes and Nobel.

Next Review: Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

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